A methodology is all about processes. Imagine you are preparing a meal for the first time. You will need a detailed recipe to follow step by step so you can prepare the meal to look and taste as nutritious as the one you watched on TV. Isn’t it? Now back to our topic. In science, a methodology for a research paper is our recipe, while the meal you are preparing is the thesis or essay you are writing. Now you were asked to write the recipe for a meal. How can you write it to make it accurate and easy to follow? Many students face this problem while writing a thesis for an essay or dissertation.
The issue of drafting an accurate methodology is the most confusing aspect of an essay or paper. Many students don’t know what to include or what to avoid. This article promises to address these issues as it reveals the best way to develop a methodology for your thesis/paper. But before we go deep, let’s answer the question ‘what is research methodology?’
What Is The Research Methodology?
The methodology is a vital aspect of every research process. However, it is not the same as “methods.” It describes the process you used to collect information and data for your research. It may include an interview, surveys, and other techniques. You will also state whether you used qualitative or quantitative methods or both in your research methodology section of the thesis.
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Why Is The Methodology Chapter Of Your Paper So Important?
It describes the recipe you followed as you write your research. If you get this chapter wrong, every other aspect of your paper (result, conclusion, and thesis) will be inaccurate. You will have findings, though, but they will be of less validity.
If you write a paper for admission into the university, you must realize that learning how to do research and write your methodology is extremely important. It’s good you discover the difficult aspect of an essay. Not only, will it help you in your application, but it will also be useful when you begin your studies. Remember that you’re not alone facing definite difficulties. That said, here is how to develop a strong methodology for your thesis.
1. Explain Your Methodology Approach
You should start by describing the overall approach for your research. What data will you use in your research? Is it quantitative, qualitative, or both? Combining both allows you to use both in-depth exploration and numerical measurement. Begin by answering questions about your research, such as:
What is your research question?
What is the perfect approach to answering your research question?
Are there any critical reliability or validity in your research?
2. Describe Your Data Collection Method
After introducing your approach, describe the procedures, tools, and materials you used to collect your data. And the basis of selecting your variables and participants. Here is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills as a professional research writer.
Quantitative data collection method could be:
- Experiment: You must explain the tools, procedure, and techniques you used in your test. How did you select the participants? How did you design the experiment? The best way to conduct experimental research is to provide enough detail that will be easy for another researcher to follow and replicate the results. You can also hire a paper writing service for this purpose if you think you need assistance.
- Survey: Provide details regarding where, how, and when a survey was conducted for the study. Also state whether you surveyed by mail, phone or in person and the time it took before you got a response from the participants. What were the response rate and sample size you took?
- Existing data: If your study is based on gathering information from existing data such as from various publications, you must state the source of the material and the criteria for its selection. Also, explain how you originated the data used and how it will be of help in your study.
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Qualitative data collection method could be:
- Interviews: You can collect data from interviews or focus groups. Was the interview structured or semi-structured? What was the basis of selecting the participants? How did you find and picked them? This is most important when writing an admissions paper.
- Observation of participants: Describe where and how you collected the participants being observed. What group did you study, and how did you do it? Also, state the time it took you to conduct the research and the location used.
- Existing data: If you are using this method for data collected, you will explain how you sourced for the case study materials you used in the study. Also, state the basis for selecting them.
3. Describe Your Analysis Method
This is where you state the methods you used to describe and analyze your data. Most writers get confused at this point whether to start discussing their results or not. However, this is not the stage of analyzing your results.
If you rely on qualitative methods, your analysis will be based on observations, images, and language. But in qualitative research, your method of analysis will be based on numbers as well as the statistical techniques and software used to analyse the data.
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4. Justify and Evaluate Your Choice Of Methodology
As you conclude your methodology, endeavour to express any weakness or limitation in your methodological choice. Why did you choose a particular approach over others? Explain how other methods were suitable for your study and relate how your choice contributed immensely to understanding the overall objective of your research.
If you can develop the right methodology for your paper, then you can conduct and write useful research for your dissertation or essay. This article has all you need to get it right.